‘He could feel it building up inside him, a quiet tickle, a subtle shift at first. Too many years of experience let him know it was coming, and as every time before he tried to fight it, tried to find the shape of it as it grew, feel the edges of it so he could find somewhere to push against.
The words started to rise up, he felt the weight of them pushing outwards, and despite them he did not have the words to name how it felt.
The tickle became shake and a sickly burn as he fought the compulsion that bubbled within him.
He barely noticed the twitch in his leg start and pour up the rest of his body as he started to lose, the edges he
could not find move around and envelope him.
His dam burst and the words came out as a torrent from some dark well deep within him.
Despite the dirty gag his words came clear;
THE DOOR IS LOCKED!
THE BOOKS ARE CLOSED!”
Wracked and spent, he fell into the shadows.Grateful for the darkness and fearful for the truth, a bitter relief washing over him as his nose shrunk and the words faded from within and without’.
‘The Burden of Truth. Nettle’ – ©Benamon Tame
Nettle Is a Pinocchio, burdened with a strange compulsion, that with endless vigour, would force truth or lies from his mouth without care of consequence.As if possessed the words would come upon him and would not relent until he had given them vent. His nose will never play false and will grow with each lie and shrink with each honesty.
To carry such a state would be unfortunate at any time but under the rule of Loki it was doubly so. Loki’s rule was not a fair one nor one that would tolerate decent and Nettles affliction soon brought down Loki’s wrath.
At first Loki had been amused by Nettle and kept him as a jester to his court but as time went on and the times became darker Nettle fell from favour. Silence was no defence and if he spoke true when Loki wanted lies or lied when the truth was unwise his face would always tell. Loki would tolerate no lies but his own and no truth save for that he desired and Nettle became a reminder of all that was beyond his control. Loki cast Nettle into a corner and left him gagged and forgotten.
‘The Burden of Truth. Typewriter remix’ – ©Benamon Tame
In looking at Pinocchio and how he would fit into the room I reimagined his truth and lies as symptoms, each one coming from him as involuntary burst like Tourette’s. I decided on the name Nettle following a train of thought, roughly LIES-FALSE-DECEPTIVE-PAIN-DECEPTIVE PAIN GIVER-PLANT-NETTLE, calling him Pinocchio didn’t seemed to fit with the room ( that would have been his old name?) and some Italian names I tried just seemed to forced or comical.
Within the toy room the types of toy have become races and classes, Nettle is a wooden toy and is the second highest class just below the dolls. The wooden toys gained their status partly through their age and party through the prejudice of their Doll (human) form. Loki’s enforcers, The Strange Company, are drawn for the wooden toy soldiers
‘The Burden of Truth. Tell The Truth remix’ – ©Benamon Tame
The story highlights that those in power will use lies to build and reinforce their control. Because of this they must control the truth, so they are not undone by it or have to face it and their own guilt. It also touches on the lies told by children can be the most honest of creatures, not limited by the constraint and social laws of adulthood. They say what they see and ask of what is in front of them, oblivious of consequence. There is barely a gap between their mind and their mouth. Children can also be the biggest ,though often most transparent of liars. Sometimes mistaking their fantasy world for reality, sometimes trying out a new skill. The hypocrisy of adulthood, for to lie and hide what you really think is a vital tool for surviving the wider world despite the mantra told to the young to always tell the truth and that lies never profit. Experience will show them that the best liars always seem to profit.
‘The Burden of Truth . Soot Screen’ ©Benamon Tame
My initial idea was to use the doll virtually unaltered, just a rag gag and crumpled in a corner but the during positioning I found as the legs only moved sideways it did not fall very realistically, the pose looked too inanimate! I had decided on lengthening the nose but found enlarging the head helped to draw focus to the nose, gag and and eyes. It also added to the sense of his disability, images of him moving about with his head bowed with the weight of it and his nose. The graffiti behind him was added with Phonto also reinforced the identity of the character and his persecuted state, not just another lost toy posing for the camera.
‘N1’ – ©Benamon Tame
I then finished off the piece using the same grunging technique I had for the other lost toys, this allows me to keep some individuality to the pieces but still retain a sense of series and keep the focus on the figures. For the paper Letter remix I wanted to extend the graffiti motif and used Ransom App to create a new background in the same style and then blend it into the original image using Blender.